Happy Friday, Weekend, Valentines and Happy Chinese New Year!
Before we begin though…Who Can Guess What is in That Red Envelope? A Valentines or Something Else? Keep reading to find out.
Today is the Chinese New Year and starts the year of the Ox. According to China Highlights, “The Ox has long been a symbol of power in Chinese culture. An Ox year is usually considered to be a more hopeful and fruitful year, so 2021 is expected to bring better luck.” Thank goodness for that!!
Do you know your Chinese Zodiac sign? I am a Monkey (Earth) and am described as clever, naughty and oh-so talkative. Hmmm…. Do you want to know yours? Visit here.
Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is China’s most important festival and marks a week off celebrating! Some of the important facets are New Year’s Eve (February 11th) Reunion Dinner, the color red for good luck, fireworks and more.
The Luckiest Things to Do at Chinese New Year:
- Giving money/gifts in lucky numbers and lucky red packaging with lucky greetings.
- Eating lucky food like fish on New Year’s Eve, especially carp or catfish with some left over for New Year’s Day.
- Lighting lots of red firecrackers and fireworks to scare away evil and bring good luck.
One thing not to do: Sweep as it will “sweep” your luck away! This is the one day where kiddos can get out of this chore!
Do you like this picture? It was taken in 2003 at the Jumbo Floating restaurant during Tony and I’s sabbatical trip to Asia. Does my expression look a little off? I had just found out I was pregnant with Eva and was at the very beginning of nine months of HE*& being sick and on bedrest. We had a grand plan for the trip and I spent the second half in bed missing out on the goodness of Bali. However, China is on our bucket list and we plan to make up for lost time in the next three years. Have you ever been to mainland China? Any “have to” experiences that we cannot miss?
Wishing all celebrating the New Year – 新年快乐/Xīnnián kuàilè!
A Yummy Recipe to Try
In keeping with the Chinese New Year, sharing a new recipe we tried from Half Baked Harvest: healthier 25 minute Kung Pao Chicken. In case you are not familiar with HBH, Tieghan focuses on using what is in your cupboard. So, I made the following changes: did not use fresno peppers, substituted frozen ginger cube, added in broccoli and cut garlic in half. It was a sweet take on Kung Pao and my family LOVED it! It is making it into the Afshary Family Cookbook.
My New Bestie
Ok, y’all, this is totally off subject however, since I am using the pan above cooking the Kung Pao, I figured I would post the first of many times about how much I love this pan. Here is the thing…I am not the girl that likes to get practical gifts for holidays. Nope, no way. If Tony got me a vacuum, he knows I would blow a gasket. Vacuums, pans, can openers…those are all nice practical items that I can buy myself. Here is just a little representation of that:
However, this friggin’ pan was on almost every blogger’s feed this past holiday season. You would have thought this was the fountain of youth! I could not figure out what was so special about this damn pan. Then, there was a special going on and so, for the first time in my life, I asked Tony for a kitchen product for Christmas (along with a few other more fun items). The pan came, he wrapped it up and under the tree it went.
Well, y’all, I unwrapped it and although it was a nice pan, it didn’t seem anything worth the hype. And, then, I started using it. First of all, it came with a nice wooden spatula/spoon that has a resting place on the handle of the pan. That was nice…no more setting it on the counter and then having to clean up. Next, I realized how many things I could cook in it. It has a steaming tray and is the right size that you can even boil vegetables. Ok, that was good. But, it was the clean-up that caused the magic. Y’all that pan practically cleans itself. No kidding. No matter what you cook, it wipes clean in seconds.
I really cannot believe I am saying this but that pan is like my new best friend. Do not even try to pull out one of those other expensive stainless ones. I might just hit you over the head with it. And, guess what the best part is? If you buy using this link, you will get $20 off and I will get a $20 credit. And, believe me when I say that I would have recommended this pan if I got zero credit because it is just that good!
Happy Valentines Day!
Well, that brings us to my last little goodness for you. Have you thought about how YOU are going to show some love to the most important person in your life on Sunday? YOU! Head to this post for some ideas. And, to sweeten it a bit more, here are a few other ideas for you to do alone or with others:
First of all, it has JT. Second, it has JT. Seriously, though, if you are in need of a movie to remind you of the goodness of humanity, then you must watch this movie. It is one of those that you will remember and will warm your heart. We hesitated to watch it and we are still talking about it two weeks later. Watch it – you won’t regret it.
Podcasts: Kelly Corrigan Wonders & Hot off the Press Films to Be Buried With with Brett Goldstein featuring Brene Brown
One of my most popular posts was the one about college. Add some more sugar to it by listening to Kelly Corrigan‘s most recent episode, What’s the Point of College. Along with four guests including the author of Educated, she discusses the changing landscape of higher education.
Ok, as Brene said on Insta, “yes, it is your favorite Ted Lasso crush – Roy Kent/Brett Goldstein. A fun hour of laughing, getting to know both better and approaching topics of the times.
Shows: Ted Lasso on Apple TV+, Lupin on Netflix
(on top of all of those that I have talked about before – Queen’s Gambit, Bridgerton, Emily in Paris, etc.)
I resisted Ted Lasso. First, Kate told me about it. Then, Tony watched it. Comedy and Soccer…eh. Not really my thing. Y’all, it was amazing! If you haven’t watched. watch!
As for Lupin, if you like Masters of Disguise/Suspense type shows, with French scenery and subtitles, then give it a go. It ended with a cliffhanger so it will be back.
Books: I am starting Fierce, Free and Full of Fire by Jen Hatmaker.
What are you reading, watching, doing? Tell us!! Seriously! I am hearing Imposters is good – yes? no?
Ok, so what was in the red envelope?
$108!!! Remember, Tanya from Feng Shui for the Om told us it is good luck to carry $108 to attract wealth. That little envelope is going right into my purse to stay as a part of my celebration of the Chinese New Year.
Until next time.
*If you purchase using the links provided, I may receive a small commission.